Volume 15, Issue 4 (July 1987)
A Proposed Test Procedure for the Evaluation of Air Barrier Systems
A method for evaluating the performance of air barrier systems for building enclosures is described. It is proposed that two identical enclosure elements be placed back-to-back and, for airtightness purposes, be joined to each other by the same techniques which join the element to the structure itself. This way, by taking advantage of symmetry, virtually all joints not found in actual applications can be eliminated, barring easy-to-seal joints associated with air supply or exhaust and pressure tap lines. Three applications of the approach with associated test results are presented. It is suggested that the proposed test procedure has the following advantages over single-specimen tests in conjunction with a test chamber: specimen size and shape are not restricted, samples can be saved for future testing after suitable aging procedures, specimens can be tested outdoors or in a controlled environment chamber, and virtually all extraneous joints can be eliminated. A disadvantage is that two specimens may have to be prepared.